Friday, December 12, 2008

Stephan Dufour found not guilty in Alma Quebec

Stephan Dufour has been found not guilty in assisting the suicide of his uncle Chantal Maltais (Alma Quebec).

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is convinced that this case is not a straight forward case, that there are questions as to whether Dufour intented or had the mental capacity to intend to participate in the death of his uncle - Maltais.

We are convinced that no precedent has been set in this case. The facts would lead one to question whether there was intention to break the law or whether the harassment by Maltais and his limted mental capacity was a reasonable limit on his intention.

This case should not be treated as a precedent setting case. This is another sad case of a man who was experiencing extremely difficult life circumstances who was depressed and experiencing suicidal ideation and in need of suicide prevention intervention.

We ask the question: Did Chantal Maltais receive proper care based on his life circumstances?

Alex Schadenberg
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Phone: 1-877-439-3348
email: info@epcc.ca

Quotes from the story:

A Quebec man was found not guilty on Friday of helping his disabled uncle kill himself.

During his trial, Stephan Dufour, 30, told the court he gave in to pressure from Chantal Maltais to help him commit suicide.

"I felt like I was in a prison," Dufour told the court during his trial. He said that Maltais had been asking him to help put an end to his life every day for several months.

Dufour testified at his trial that he tied a choke chain to a rope and installed it on a pole in his uncle's bedroom. Two days later, on Sept. 9, 2006, Maltais was found hanged in the wardrobe of his bedroom.

Dufour told the court he didn't want to do it, but that he finally gave in because he couldn't handle the pressure and the verbal abuse from his uncle.

"He was harassing me all the time," Dufour testified. "I couldn't take it any more," he added before breaking into tears.

The defence said Dufour was under his uncle's spell and that his limited intellectual capacities prevented him from resisting Maltais' multiple requests to put an end to his life.

Link to the article on Canada.com
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=1067338

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